Along with Basix , Bandhan Microfinance has also been awarded the Skoch Financial Inclusion Award
Bandhan has had a happy start of the New Year with the Skoch Financial Inclusion Award 2011 being conferred upon it for extending grant-based, sustainable support paraphernalia to the most economically displaced and marginalized population. The announcement was made on January 05, 2011 which was the Financial Inclusion Day.
Skoch Financial Inclusion Awards 2011
Skoch Financial Inclusion Awards seek to recognize best practices from BFSI sector for promoting inclusive growth and poverty alleviation from across urban and rural India. The awards ceremony took place at Hotel Shangri-La, Ashok Road, New Delhi on January 05, 2011.
The award was presented to Mr. Chandra ShekharGhosh, Founder, Bandhan as a fitting culmination to the Financial Inclusion Day by Dr. C. Rangarajan, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister.
The program that helped Bandhan earn the accolade is “Chartering into Unventured Frontiers—Targeting the Hard Core Poor (CUF-THP)”. It is directed towards bringing about holistic and inspirational development in the lives of the most deprived section of the society thereby helping them graduate to mainstream finance.
Bandhan is reaching out to nearly 3,500 poorest of the poor through its Hard Core Poor Program. This program is operative not just in West Bengal but also in the underdeveloped north eastern states viz. Tripura and Assam. Grant support (not in cash) is extended to these ultra-poor for a period of 24 months. The ultimate objective is to see them graduating to mainstream finance.
It is noteworthy that about 1,880 beneficiaries have already graduated. The plan is to reach out to 55,000 such poorest of the poor by March 2014.
The Jury comprised of industry leaders, domain experts, economists and academicians. Bandhan had won the Skoch Challenger Award in March 2008 also, but what makes this award more special is that it comes at a time when the entire microfinance industry is being frowned upon; the award asserts the relevance and uniqueness of Bandhan’s two-pronged approach towards poverty alleviation viz. microfinance and development.
For nearly a decade, Skoch Awards have been identifying and saluting best practices that others can take note of and learn from. They comprehensively document, publish and put in public domain this knowledge so that every concerned individual or institution can mutually learn from it and grow together. Skoch today enjoys the distinction of having instituted several of the oldest, most prestigious and comprehensive civilian awards in the field of governance, capacity building, empowerment, inclusive growth, citizen services delivery, technology, academics and change management.
Earlier on the same day, Mr. Chandra ShekharGhosh participated as a panelist in the MFI-SHG Conclave, a roundtable with national and international representation from World Bank, UNDP, Ministry of Finance, Planning Commission etc. Hon’ble Home Minister, Mr. P Chidambaram released the book, Growth & Finance – Essays in honor of Dr. C Rangarajan, edited by Mr. Sameer Kochhar, Chairman, Skoch Group.
Distinguished speakers on this occasion included Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Hon’ble Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Dr. KaushikBasu, Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Dr. Shankar Acharya, Member, Board of Governors and Honorary Professor, ICRIER and Mr. BhaskarPramanik, Managing Director, Oracle India.